Minister Schafer calls for an end to violence in Zwelihle after learners have been out of school for three days - News | Western Cape Education Department

Minister Schafer calls for an end to violence in Zwelihle after learners have been out of school for three days

19 July 2018

Four schools in Zwelihle were closed for the third day today (Thursday 19th July 2018) owing to violent protest action in the area. It is unacceptable that our schools have had to close during this period, affecting the education of almost 5 000 learners, but the safety of our learners and educators is paramount.

The four schools are:

  • Mount Pleasant PS
  • Zwelihle PS
  • Lukhanyo PS
  • Qhayiya SS

The violent protest action in the Zwelihle area has also affected learners who travel outside of Zwelihle to neighboring schools in Hermanus and Kleinmond.

We are pleading with those involved, who are believed to be a few rogue members of the community, to end the violence and find alternative and constructive ways of communicating their grievances, so that our learners can return safely to their schools and that teaching and learning can continue.

At this stage it is not yet clear how many school days will be affected and the extent of individual support that will be required to assist the learners and educators in terms of catching up with the curriculum. Our officials are in the meantime working on catch up plans that will be implemented as soon as learners can return safely to school.

The protest action has also resulted in vandalism to Mount Pleasant's school perimeter fence and some of the school windows and doors. Our schools are community assets and should be treated as such. We request that the community please report any form of vandalism to school property immediately to the SAPS.

The WCED and the school management teams are in constant communication with SAPS and other security agencies so as to keep up to date with developments in the area.

In terms of Section 3(6)(b) of the SA Schools Act, I have also requested that, if it is possible to identify the culprits, our officials lay charges against those individuals responsible for the violence and who are preventing learners and teachers from attending school. This section of the Act reads that "Subject to this Act and any other applicable law, any other person (other than a parent) who, without just cause, prevents a learner who is subject to compulsory attendance from attending a school, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months."

It is high time that people destroying the opportunities of others are held accountable.